Unfortunately I missed the first part of of Stelios’ session on Wednesday evening, but the question and answer session was interesting and fun.
He came across as very straightforward and honest, to the extent that he freely admitted that Richard Branson was his inspiration. One interesting point he made was the importance of starting with an airline at the beginning of building the Easy brand. If people are prepared to trust you with their lives, they may well be prepared to trust you for other products. However he said that moving from a Pizza franchise business to an airline would not have been an effective strategy. He was also a fan of business coaches, and admitted having successfully used one for many years. As he explained, once you are the CEO everyone below you has an agenda (often hidden), whereas an independent person can truly be on your side.
Quite a few of members of the audience had ideas for ‘Easy’ business, but Karen Darby the founder of Simply Switch had by far the funniest. She suggested a fresh fruit juice business called ‘Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy’ and had the audience in stitches.